Here's what happened to someone in the UK who didn't even send the "hate" email:
And there are certainly forces within the Labour Party who will undoubtedly push this barrow once they are re-elected. Phil Goff appeared slightly ambivalent on the issue back in 2004.
A wealthy businessman in Britain was arrested while at home with his wife and young son because of an email he had not written.
Council officials deemed the email, sent from the man's workplace, 'offensive' to gypsies.
The man, who does not wish to be identified, also had his computer and internet equipment seized at the time.
The email was about a planning appeal by a gypsy, and included the phrase: "It's the do as they likey attitude that I am against", reports Daily Mail.
Staff considered that offensive because 'likey' rhymes with a derogatory term for a gypsy - 'pikey'.
The man was held for four hours before it established he was not responsible for the email, which had been sent at his work by a fellow employee.
The arrest followed a three-year battle by a gypsy family to win planning permission for a mobile home on land outside the town of Battle.
The email also read: 'Get a job, get planning permission but more to the point get out of the neighbourhood.'
Sussex Police said they had arrested the businessman over "suspicion of committing a racial or religious-aggravated offence".
Of course, further laws prohibiting "hate speech" are totally ridiculous and unecessary. We already have plenty of laws that prohibit hate speech. As Tony Milne outlines here, certain minorities have won their battles through freedom of expression, rather than restricting it. Yet Milne of course has a caveat:
That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t have been an inquiry to look into the issues surrounding hate speech (and more importantly speech that encourages violence against people on grounds of their religion, sexual orientation etc).Speech encouraging violence is already illegal. Milne may need reminding of this when his party is next in power.